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Playing the same music on multiple computers

Is there any way to share the sound output of a mac to other macs nearby either by wifi, or bluetooth or something?

At work we want to all be able to listen to the same playlist, but through headphones. There's three of us sitting in a pod and we can get a headphone splitter, but its a bit tedious.

So I wondered if anyone knows a way to share the sound output to other macs so that we can each listen through our own sound card?

Many thanks


There are certainly multiple ways to accomplish this, but what I figured out is the simplest free approach I know of: use SoundFlower (a free download from Cycling 74) to pipe your system audio to iChat, and use iChat to send the audio to another computer.

In your System Preferences go to Sound and set SoundFlower as both Input and Output. Note that this will make your system sound not go through your speakers, so to turn that back on also run SoundFlowerbed (the front end that comes with SoundFlower) and set SoundFlower's output to the speakers.

Now launch iChat and go to Preferences. In the Video/Audio preferences you can set what input to use; it'll probably be defaulting to your microphone but you can set that to SoundFlower. Now when you do a voice chat with someone else they will hear your computer's audio.

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  • What a brilliant answer! :) well done sir. Thank you. – Thomas Clayson Nov 28 '12 at 16:27

Is it essential that you all listen in sync? If not, you could use iTunes home sharing and share playlists that way, or setup playlists in a web based service such as Spotify.

Alternatively you could set-up a shoutcast server on one of the Macs, and then use a radio streaming app to manage the playlists. There's a free (but simplistic one) called butt.

I'm not aware of a way you could simply share audio to multiple sources without additional hardware.

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